How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Berwyn 60402
Earning a physical therapy degree near Berwyn IL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Berwyn IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Berwyn IL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Berwyn IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Berwyn IL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Berwyn IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Berwyn IL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Berwyn IL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Berwyn IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Berwyn medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Berwyn IL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Berwyn IL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Berwyn Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Berwyn IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Berwyn /ˈbɜːrwɪn/ is a suburban city in Cook County, Illinois, coterminous with Berwyn Township, which was formed in 1908 after breaking off from Cicero Township. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,657.
Before being settled, the land that is now Berwyn was traversed by Native American trails. The most important trails converged near the Chicago portage, and two significant routes crossed what is today Berwyn. A branch of the Trail to Green Bay crossed Berwyn at what is now Riverside Drive, and the Ottawa Trail spanned the southern end of the city.
In 1846, the first land in "Berwyn" was deeded to Theodore Doty who built the 8-foot-wide (2.4 m) Plank Road from Chicago to Ottawa along the Ottawa Trail. The trail had been used as a French and Indian trade route and more recently as a stage coach route to Lisle. This thoroughfare became what is now Ogden Avenue in South Berwyn. In 1856, Thomas F. Baldwin purchased 347 acres (1.40 km2) of land, bordered by what is now Ogden Avenue, Ridgeland Avenue, 31st Street, and Harlem Avenue, in hopes of developing a rich and aristocratic community called "LaVergne". However, few people were interested in grassy marshland. Mud Lake extended nearly to the southern border of today's Berwyn, and the land flooded regularly during heavy rains. The only mode of transportation to LaVergne was horse and buggy on the Plank Road.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Berwyn IL
Deciding on the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Berwyn IL.
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